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(Archived) database size and impact on EN's speed


pendolino

Idea

i've begun feeling that my growing database is slowing the performance of evernote and i wanted to hear what the developers had to say about this as well as other users with large databases. i've recently passed the 2000 note mark and most of my notes tent to be text-based (web clippings, emails, manual notes, documents).

how much can evernote handle and has it been tested enough? what can be done to improve speed?

this is of course important for many users as they commit to using evernote for many of their noting needs.

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34 replies to this idea

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To fix the search performance on the Mac for large accounts, we need to add an equivalent text search index on the Mac. This is definitely on the list to improve.

oh, please do this. i tried to improve the performance using the deinstall-reboot-reinstall-tip from one of your support-guys and it seemed to work well for about a day. ATM, i've done this the second time and nothing works better than before. Evernote uses 99% CPU-Usage nearly all the time and i can't work with it anymore in this state. it's really horrible to click one button or just a simple checkbox in a note in EN and wait up to several minutes (i fell asleep waiting half an hour ago and found it at 99% when i woke up again after 10min) for s.th. to happen.

happy to have w7 installed :S

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Version 1.4.5 (52531) and still the same problem. Also problems with searching withing big pdf files:

28/07/09 9:39:23 Evernote[5202] NSExceptionHandler has recorded the following exception:

NSInternalInconsistencyException -- -[NSBitmapImageRep _lazilyAllocateData] Insufficient memory to allocate pixel data buffer of 1952580288 bytes

28/07/09 9:39:23 Evernote[5202] *** WebKit discarding exception: -[NSBitmapImageRep _lazilyAllocateData] Insufficient memory to allocate pixel data buffer of 1952580288 bytes

Any solution soon?

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thanks. i just wanted to get feedback on this topic and see if others were noticing anything. the zippy nature of this app is part of the appeal on the mac and the opposite on the iphone where it is quite sluggish and unstable. hopefully things will improve.

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I also have experienced problems with searching my notes, especially the ones with pdf documents in them. In my notebook I have about 300 notes with pdf documents in various sizes (from 1mb to 18 mb) and when I search my notes, Evernote often freezes and my mouse cursor turns into the spinning ball and I have to restart Evernote.

I am very excited about Evernote, but improved or optimized search capability would make it my favorit.

My equipment:

Macbook Pro 2.53 intel core 2 duo

4 GB memory

OS X 10.5.7

Evernote 1.4.4

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Yes, we can definitely make the search UI more responsive in this case, it just requires some special code that takes into account the risk that highlighting searches in the current note may be very slow.

Thanks for the reports

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One of the options we're exploring for the Mac client is to just tap into the Spotlight index.

considering how many developers of other apps actually use this resource its probably the best idea. i do tend to use spotlight to find Evernotes with the following string: kind:evernote [search terms]. this usually throws up what i need but unfortunately the view is different from using the Evernote client. its pretty fast though and I WISH evernote's own search was that fast.

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Hi,

I can confirm that with 1549 notes (many pdfs) the system performance have dropped dramatically. I however have done a big change on my setup (which might be a good tip for the developers and the bug fix process):

In the beginning I had many "notebooks" and used much time sorting between them. It seems that I have stumbled across a bug (if it can be called that) where I reduced 10 notebooks to one called INBOX. I was inspired by the Gmail method where you just dont use time on sorting rather depend on "good searching terms". This is where the "big system cpu drop" happened. (Hope it will help on the subject).

I also have another issue where it on Mac is extremely slow to start the EN app when minimized. It doesnt seem to matter if I use the "red close button" or "yellow minimize" the respons is the same -sluggish to say the least. It also then (when finally appearing) locks out all notes but the current and I can then only search in that one note. The only way to fix it is to kill EN or to open a "new evernote window" and kill the old one. This has to be a bug right? I hope they also look into the responsiveness on a mac since I use EN all day for dropping bookmarks, notes etc so its usually never "shut down".

Thanks.

I can also support the statement earlier in this thread regarding the EN iphone app where it takes maybe 30-45 seconds to "snap a picture" into evernote and usually it just crashes. The app was much better in the beginning. Now I think the biggest "error" they´ve done with it is that all the notes are made "available" in a cool GUI style (horizontal setup / vertical setup on the iphone) but where it kills all the "CPU" power on the phone and usually just kills the app. Its a 50/50 if I can take a picture through EN and be able to sync it to the server.

Is it just me or are there others feeling that EN constantly gives out "new versions" but perhaps would be better off "waiting a little bit" with the small updates and doing it more on a fixed calendar based schedule where the updates are tested better before releasing it into the market. I think EN is cool but also that they perhaps are "too eager" on listening to the users and ends up with a bloated product full of bugs and a slow performance..

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it seems awfully quiet here and my last query wasn't answered.

i am still experiencing sluggish performance when opening a new evernote window. while not entirely unusable it does diminish from the snappy expectation of users.

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You may actually find that text-based searches via Spotlight may find Evernote notes more quickly. It turns out that Spotlight actually does create such an index out of our content.

One of the options we're exploring for the Mac client is to just tap into the Spotlight index.

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Yeah, it's most useful if you can hit the "Sample" button while the process is actually not responding. This will capture what the program is actually doing at that exact moment, which may pinpoint where it's spending all that time.

Thanks

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Same problem with big pdf files. Streemely slow search with EN. As a workaround, a use the search with spotlight directly. Hope EN will solve the problem soon...

My equipment:

Macbook Pro 2.26 intel core 2 duo

4 GB memory

OS X 10.5.7

Evernote 1.4.4

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thank you to everyone for contributing their insights and experiences to EN's seemingly growing sluggishness. i can confirm that i feel the app is getting sluggish on my mac although the opposite has happened with the latest update on iphone.

re. the iphone app i have one suggestion: disable auto-sync using a preference setting since i sometimes start the app to initiate a search but have to wait for it to 'update' or do some other funky stuff in the background and only then can i request a search that has to be done on the server anyway. it can become a pain.

re. the mac app: i feel that the database structure has to be reviewed to see how to make it faster before the problems compound and, given that evernote seems to be decently profitable at this point, it is vital that this be done to preserve their reputation and user base.

thanks EN guys. keep up the good work.

PS - i listened to a few of the podcasts when i had some time and they are quite useful. i recommend that others do so.

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Hi,

just wanted to mention that I also have been having problems with speed and a long wait when opening all notebooks or a large notebook (on windows).

I did a defragment for the first time in ages, and it increased the speed noticably.

Just a tips for other users with speed issues, it might help..

I used defraggler - it can defragment individual files, but I guess any defragmenter works

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how much testing has been done by Evernote developers to test the impact of database size on performance on Evernote client applications (not the web application) such as Mac and Windows ?

I am quite curious if they have scaled up to 10,000 or more notes with multiple content types and sizes and seen where it breaks.

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there has not been a staff/official reply here after my last post.

i am a premium user (not asking for a reply, i know i have to email support) so i hope that gives my comments more weight.

i recently realized that i am at the top end of Evernote users in terms database size as i have 4300 notes and it seems that only a small sliver of users fit that demographic. this i based on an official evernote blog post (i think when they hit a million users) showing how many notes their users have. most importantly, this means that few users have my problems and so my kind are the guinea pigs as this product grows.

and here is the gist of my problem: everytime i try to open an evernote window (even with the app running) i have to watch the interminable beach ball spin for anything from a few (long) seconds up to 20 seconds or more. this is turning into a waste of time for an app that has become a core part of my multidevice (iphone, mac, etc) workflow.

im hoping that the developers eventually start paying more attention as their users naturally increase their usage and they have to redesign their database.

im also hoping that more users start picking up evernote and creating more and more notes so that this problem becomes more commonplace and we get some attention!

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We have many users, including Evernote employees with far more notes than this, but we've also heard about specific performance issues from people who have particular configurations of notes. I.e. it's not a matter of the total quantity, but there are some areas we're trying to improve around types of notes and data.

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hi there,

on my 2009-mbp with 2GB of RAM I have significant speed problems, too. I also have dozens of large pdf files up to 20-30mb and alltogether around 7500notes containing nearly anything. the database is about 3,5GB atm.

What appears curious is that the EN-on-W7-Installation on the MBP (via Bootcamp) is much more faster than the Mac-App using the same-account. though there are some local notebooks that are only on the mac-app, the performance-discrepancy is huge between snow-leopard and W7 on the same hardware.

the mac-app hangs very often for several minutes at 99%-CPU-usage just after opening up, creating a single note, doing a search, whatever. If I want to create a fast note, i grab my blackberry and (instead of using the "so-called" bb-app) write an e-mail to my EN-account; i think that's not really how it was meant to work...

When i was using EN 6months ago, i could show-off with the performance of search and input and anything that made EN for me the ALL-in-one-app, but right now it's like having Windows7 on a intel-celeron with 256mb ram installed.

I can agree that using the spotlight-search is the best way to search notes on the mac while having lots of large pdf-files. what i don't accept is the proposal to delete the large pdf-files in the db in order to make the system work proper and "in flow" again. it was the main reason i switched to premium that also many big pdfs could be handled by EN.

i hope you guys find a solution for this before/instead of adding 10 or 20 more apps to the trunk.

thanks

edit: i sent a support-request containing the EN-activity-log and the system-monitor-analysation :P

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I am also experiencing sluggish performance on version 1.9.0 although performance has improved quite a bit since I first posted my concerns with version 1.4.8 a while ago. I understand that large PDFs can slow the desktop app down a bit. My database is about 5GB at the moment across 6 841 notes. I would love to know how Evernote preps itself when the app opens and if there is a way to speed up the process from opening the app to it becoming available for use? I still find Evernote hangs for 5-10 minutes or so before I can use it.

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pendolino -

What version are you using? If you'd be willing to help us track down the performance issues we'd really appreciate it. Please launch the "Activity Monitor" application and select the Evernote process in the list. When Evernote is hanging, click the "Sample Process" button in the Activity Monitor and then Save the result to a file. Open a support case at the bottom of http://www.evernote.com/about/contact/support/ . When you get the confirmation email from us for the case, reply to that email and attach the saved samples file.

Thanks

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its been a while since I've chimed in on this issue and just wanted to say that even after the latest evernote for mac update I still experience sluggish performance when initiating searches.

i think i may just be too out of evernote's current abilities in terms of my database size (7500 notes) and have to wait for other users to approach that level before the complaints increase.

what's even worse is evernote for the ipad where searches take even longer.

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If you are seeing an extended hang of Evernote (e.g. the spinning beachball for more than a minute), it would be helpful to capture a snapshot of what Evernote is doing at the time:

Run the "Activity Monitor" application

Select "Evernote" from the list and click the "Sample Process" button

In the new window, press "Save" to save that to a file

You could send this to us by opening a support inquiry at the bottom of: http://www.evernote.com/about/contact/support/

Once you've opened a case, you'll receive an automatic reply email. You can reply to that email and attach your sample file.

Thanks

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The reason you're seeing better performance on Windows is that our Windows client maintains an optimized "full text search" index using SQLite FTS to provide fast searching, while the Mac client does a non-optimized search through the text of your notes.

To fix the search performance on the Mac for large accounts, we need to add an equivalent text search index on the Mac. This is definitely on the list to improve.

Thanks

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I am experience sizable delays in the performance of EN on my Mac. I have approximately 3,000 mostly text notes. Performing a search is a slow process. I cannot type more than 3 characters in the search box before I get a spinning pizza wheel. Then a ten -- twenty wait before the result appears, next, paging through the results is slow, also with a pizza. This makes search almost an impossible process. This problem needs to be fixes asap. Or is there advice on how to speed my search?

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I am experience sizable delays in the performance of EN on my Mac. I have approximately 3,000 mostly text notes. Performing a search is a slow process. I cannot type more than 3 characters in the search box before I get a spinning pizza wheel. Then a ten -- twenty wait before the result appears, next, paging through the results is slow, also with a pizza. This makes search almost an impossible process. This problem needs to be fixes asap. Or is there advice on how to speed my search?

I currently have about 2500 notes in my Mac evernote and I'm not experiencing anything like this. I can type a whole sentence in the search box with no spinning pizza wheels, get the results almost instantly and scroll through them with no issues.

Perhaps it will help the developers to know which systems / dbs have issues and which don't. So, to that end: My notes are a mix of text, web clippings, email clippings, quite a few pdfs, several with images (about 200), and a few with actual attachments (I only recently went premium, so there are very few of those. Should be a lot with PDFs, but I don't see any easy to way search for just those). The notes are in 9 notebooks, four of which are sync'd and the rest local.

I'm running on a MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2GB RAM.

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dave -

it just happened although for only a few seconds. i opened activity monitor and found that evernote was 'not responding' but by the time i sampled the process a few seconds later it was running normally.

does that help or do i have to do it when it is 'not responding'?

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We have heard about a similar problem, but this seems to be caused by large PDF documents. Do you have PDFs in your account? Are any of them particularly large?

My understanding is that the problem comes up when we're trying to rapidly update the search highlighting in a big PDF document. This eats up lots of CPU and the text entry becomes choppy. We have a bug filed to improve this behavior.

Thanks

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To fix the search performance on the Mac for large accounts, we need to add an equivalent text search index on the Mac. This is definitely on the list to improve.

boy are we dying for this. at the moment i do try to keep my database to a minimum in terms of individual note size.

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